The world of Formula 1 has little to do with the sea, and the drivers of the highest category of motorsport only see the water up close when they are on tracks such as Monaco or Jeddah, where the track is located a few meters from the coast.
However, on this occasion, two of the great names of the championship, Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez, had the opportunity to enjoy a modality that few know but that has many similarities with the fastest single-seaters on the planet.
The Red Bull duo spent a day experiencing what it’s like to be part of a SailGP team, a sailing competition held at various venues throughout the year featuring AC50 class yachts, now known as F50s . The category was created in 2019, and one of the curiosities is that the boats do not belong to each team, but to the organization.
On the coast of Saint-Tropez , the event that precedes that of Cádiz in the 2022-2023 season, the drivers of the energy drink team ventured to feel the force of the sea with its main sponsor, Oracle.
In “from the track to turn”, as this experience of the current world champion and the Mexican was titled, they were together with the Australians and Americans on the test day and experienced how hard the modality is.
“It seems that today we are going to do something in the sea, I have never done something like this before, so it is going to be a good experience,” acknowledged Max Verstappen. “It is very impressive”.
The peculiarity of this style of sailboats is that they try to reduce aerodynamic resistance to the maximum in order to go faster, as could happen with a Formula 1 single-seater on the highest top speed tracks, such as Monza or Spa-Francorchamps. However, before embarking on the beast that rides the waves, they did a rowing activity in which they physically tested themselves.
Checo generated 416 watts with his strength, while his partner surpassed him with 427, but they fell far short of one of the members of the United States team, Alex Sinclair .
Strategy is also essential in the Grand Circus and, of course, in the SailGP it is a very important factor to take into account, since simulations must be carried out taking into account the weather conditions, the waves and others.
Having seen the vitals, Verstappen joined the American crew for the first practice, in which he got behind the wheel in a “completely different experience” while Checo watched from a speedboat.
Shortly after, the Mexican took the Dutchman’s seat in something that he found very funny because he kept smiling, before watching his teammate’s sprint against Australia.
To round off the day, the Red Bull drivers staged a change of their respective helmets with the helms of the American and Australian crews.
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